Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Ali legend lives on


By Sheryl Jedlinski,

With the passing of Muhammad Ali, the world lost not only a three-time world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medal winner, but a great humanitarian, whose work earned him our nation’s highest civilian award — the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I lost one of my heroes. What could we have had in common? In 1998, at age 44, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, just as Ali had been 14 years earlier. We both refused to allow this news to limit or define us, but rather demanded it set us free to do great things we never dreamed of doing, and to become the best we could be.

When visiting his museum in Louisville, KY, I relived one of Ali’s finest moments. Projected before me was a life-size Ali, his hand shaking as he raised a golden torch and lit the Olympic flame to open the 1996 Atlanta games. This act, with the attention of the world focused on him, took more courage than facing his toughest opponent in the ring ever did. The crowd responded with a thunderous, standing ovation.

“Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision,” Ali said. “They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

I wish us all the will!

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2016 by in Advocacy, Parkinson's Awareness, PD Heroes.

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